Sunday January 20 2013

FOURTH DIMENSION: Refrain from discord

By Pastor Joshua Mugabi

The great book of Proverbs, written for nobles and those intending to be wise lists six things that the Lord hates and treats as an abomination: “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift to run to evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who spreads discord among family members.” Of these six, there is one that seems to have gained prominence in the coverage of the newspapers in Uganda.

The newspapers have given more than needed coverage for stories of division in key families. The FDC leadership campaign was covered from the angle of a family falling apart. Currently, there is a hype of the Speaker of Parliament being at logger heads with the President.
There is also hyped coverage of party members with divergent views from the head. This is a form of spreading discord among family members. And why is this something God hates and the nation should hate?

When families are divided, the nation is set on a course of chaos. Families are destroyed when the bonds of unity are broken by words and acts that promote discord. Discord is like a festering wound that can end up in amputation or even loss of life or vital functions in a living organism. Families in this context may refer to organisations, institutions or nations. Whenever there is discord sown, there is bound to be hatred, bitterness and even bloodshed in some cases.

Discord blinds both leaders and their followers to objectivity and enhances subjective reasoning. When this happens at national level, a national sin is committed. And we know that the wages of sin is death. This is illustrated by the brief account of what happened between King David and his son Absalom:

“The conspiracy against king David was gaining momentum, and the people were starting to side with Absalom. The men of Israel were becoming loyal to Absalom. So David said to all his servants, “Come on! Let’s escape! Otherwise no one will be delivered from Absalom! He will quickly overtake us and bring disaster on us and kill the city’s residents with the sword.”

While Israel had enjoyed peace from external forces, this instigation by a son in the house of David brought trouble in the land. It is not God’s will for any family or institution to live in division or internal animosity. God’s will for families is oneness of purpose and harmony.

This does not mean there is no room for differences of opinion and methodology. Healthy families recognise their differences and work through these differences to become better and stronger. Discord destroys this dynamic of gaining strength through constructive resolution of differences. Discord demeans people and degrades their humanity. Discord corrodes the goodwill of the people and weakens the resolve to get things done.

While it may be good to blow the whistles that must be blown, it remains necessary for all family members to commit to maintaining their unity and stay away from all. things that stir discord.